Harlem Schools of Arts revived by public-private donations
April 23, 2010
Last year, funders' dedication to the arts declined. According to the first-ever national arts index, donations to arts organizations dwindled during the recession. Even some of the nation's premier art centers were in trouble. This is particularly troubling news as studies indicate that communities in trouble benefit from arts institutions and art education.
Now, a report from the New York Times indicates officials may be prioritizing arts funding again in a recovering economy. The source reports that New York City nonprofit fundraising efforts provided $1 million to the Harlem School of Arts to save it from closing forever.
The funds came from four organizations, two of which made anonymous donations. The Herb Alpert Foundation contributed $500,000. This amount was matched by Hank Greenberg's Starr Foundation and the unnamed donors.
Additionally, the source says a group of celebrities led by singer Mary J. Blige has committed to raising more funds.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the source he commends these donors for making contributions to the arts sector in Harlem. "Without a doubt, these are challenging times for the city's nonprofits, but it's vital that through strong public-private partnerships we support the programs that make a huge difference in the lives of New Yorkers," he said.
Organization leaders might consider allocating some of their nonprofit fundraising toward arts institutions in their communities, and they may look for private donors to make concurrent donations for maximum impact.